I read this somewhere along the way in my journey of motherhood, and it's stayed with me. I was thinking just yesterday, as I was laying out my outfit for work, about all those days spent in dirty jeans and smudged t-shirts. I remember thinking - then - how much I would love to go out to lunch and have a conversation with an adult. I dreamed of a place that had carpeting that I didn't have to endlessly clean.
Now, of course, my kids don't "need" me in the same daily way, and I miss that sometimes. Tallest Son and I realized for one period last week, we didn't see each other for almost three full days, even though we live in the same house! His job, school and social life keep him away from home more often than not. No more naps on the couch for me, with one kid snuggled under my arm and one kid snuggled behind my crooked legs while a Disney video played. Now, I'm running around with spreadsheets, paperwork, requests and phone calls and emails to return.
When I was growing up, "Ms." magazine came to life, telling a bunch of little girls that marriage didn't matter, careers were everything, being a mom was not a terrific choice, and that we could "have it all". Of course, my generation grew up and found out that you can't really have it all, at least not all at the same time.
I wouldn't trade my years as a "stay at home mom" for anything. They were precious and wonderful, despite the days of drudgery and sticky fingers, the pots and pots of macaroni and cheese and those d*^$ cartoon songs I still can't get out of my head. And now, I'm just as grateful that I have a job I enjoy, that uses that Master's degree I was able to get before the kids came along, and that my marriage is stable, loving and full of trust.
So, you young mothers, take heart: you can have it all, but not all at once.